“Moment of truth” is the moments in our life where we are exposed to some raw facts which we have to accept and face it as a reality of life. In variably we find a huge gap between what we expect from life and what if offer! In those moments we buckle and give up, blaming someone else or circumstances. I wish to classify these moments into two categories – you cannot do anything at all for example death, and you can do something about it, the rest of them. It is all dependent upon how myopic you are about the resources available in this universe.
One of my friends recently narrated an incident when he wanted to re-learn how to make a tie knot (as he was not wearing it for very long time). He immediately sat in the internet and learned through a demo in the YouTube. This is an example of overcoming our resource myopia. Let us examine how we can find a path when we face moments of truth.
Human form is the highest evolved species in the rung of the creations bestowed with the most developed operating system by the nature – creativity & rationale. In the animal kingdom we don’t observe a significant difference between one another in terms of their capability which is a unique phenomenon in the human species. We don’t know the reason for this difference and may not be a good idea to investigate either; accepting it as one of those secrets of nature less understood by us.
In 50’s, psychologist were trying to define this unique human characteristics to measure, evaluate and differentiate the capabilities of human beings. The first one was IQ – Intelligent quotient developed as a measure to evaluate the ability to grasp and understand. The teacher remaining the same, each student understands the subject to different degree. Very few human beings such as Einstein and Stephen Hawking could understand the quantum physics and formulate equations to explain the mysteries of this universe. In the IQ scale they are said to be in the highest around 140. The average human being is around 100 which imply that the vast majority of us will have average level of IQ. Does that mean that all of us with average IQ are doomed?
People believed that if anyone has highest IQ will top the class and hence may succeed in their career. The data does not prove that top positions are occupied only by academic performers. If so what is that made these low IQ performers to succeed? This lead to the next type of human competency identification; EQ- Emotional Quotient which differentiates the human capabilities to handle emotions. If we cannot manage our emotions, it is very unlikely we can handle others emotions for which we are responsible when we start leading people. There could be a person with less IQ but may have high EQ and hence he may be capable of producing better results than the person with high IQ but less EQ.
In the later part of this century, life has become more complex and demanding due the information explosion and connectivity across the global village. This brought one more demand on human competency namely LQ – Learning Quotient, the continued interest to update your knowledge. We generally find the learning quotient is inversely proportional to age; as we grow old we tend to lose the curiosity and novelty we had as a child. We are caught up with psychological Inertia which is defined in a mathematical form:
Psychological Inertia = Knowledge x Experience x Bias
Higher the knowledge and experience, higher the resistance to change as we tend to think we know all that we need to know. The unknown Vedic seer has believed to have said “The more I know, I come to know, I don’t know!” This is the right state of humility believing “knowledge reveals ignorance”. The Bias is an irrational paradigm of believing something without any data. For example, “age takes away your hair and brings in wisdom”. It is very hard to keep your novelty and curiosity as you grow guarding yourself from the psychological inertia.
The next complex human competency needed for the 21st century is RQ – Relationship Quotient, the ability to build relationship which has become the most critical success factor to make progress in life. Many of us have been brought up in different culture, parental and social conditioning which have influenced our personality. These conditioning either aids or inhibits relationship building. For example, we have been warned about meeting and developing relationship with a stranger during our childhood which still lingers in our sub-conscious mind which retards our ability to build contacts. Your power is decided by your contacts.
Having seen IQ, EQ, LQ and RQ, we have the SQ – Spiritual Quotient as the highest in the rung of the personality development. Although SQ sounds little philosophical, it will only means a “principle and character cantered Life”. The principles are nothing but laws of nature which governs this universe; for example the laws of karma – “what you sow, what you will reap”. One should keep the principles such as Humility, Industry, Temperance etc as the core values driving their life instead of “money”, “family” etc which has fleeting outcome. If money is in the centre of my core value, I tend to take all my decisions to make money which may violate my time tested principles. That is why we find any violation of law of nature exposes to a down fall later.
What is the main Point?
How do we negotiate the moments of truth where we are exposed to ground realities of knowing the facts which are show stoppers? We stumble upon these facts and either chose to become defensive, blaming someone outside ourselves which is the easiest recipe for doing nothing. Every one of us has a “level of incompetency” which will expose our inadequacy. Let me narrate my experience:
For some historical reasons, I chose to become a hard core techie and grew up in the corporate ladder till my early 40s. When I got struck in a functional discipline my seniors told me that I cannot lead an institution as I had no general management capability! It appeared to me that the world has come to an end at that time! What happened there after? I built an institution commencing my entrepreneur career at 49? I am happy to come out of a state “one who knows not that he knows not is a fool”. But for the blows, you never wake up from slumber. I augmented my skills and moved on for the better. This is a typical example of “moment of truth”. I could have chosen an adapted child behaviour blaming my seniors for not developing me or choose a less travelled path which has many things to offer. I chose the later.
We have born with certain level of IQ which may be beyond our ability to develop. But the pity is your marks in the school or college is used as the indicator of your IQ. Alas! If you don’t enjoy the subject and passionate about some other topic, you may not obviously score high marks! In my own case I was a mediocre student in my schooling and a topper in all my engineering education including M.Tech in IIT. Most of us end up in a professional education which is not as per our choice and hence may have misleading scores which are not the true indicators of your IQ. Einstein for example is a school dropout and later known as the most outstanding scientist the planet has witnessed.
The EQ is the decisive factor for you to become the most successful leader as well as balanced individual which is very important to keep you mentally and physically healthy. The EQ is not a gift of nature as IQ, which can be developed by constant endeavour. What is most important is, believing that your EQ can be improved. If that belief is there one can use the feedback and feed-forward approaches explained by great authors Marshall Goldsmith in his book “What brought you here, won’t get you there” and Daniel Goleman in his book “Emotional Intelligence”. The resources are plenty.The RQ – Relationship Quotient & SQ are the skill one can develop once you are aware of their merits.
- All of us have born with equal rights to achieve our goals in our life.
- If you have poor academic score, it does not mean your IQ is low. You need not have to feel helpless. It may be you are destined to lead people with high IQs.
- The limitations are the shackles we ourselves put upon ourselves.
- The so called IQ is only an insignificant factor to decide your growth as always if you use your EQ, RQ & SQ you can always use everyone around you as a resource to progress. You can intelligently use others IQ for your advantage and that is what leadership is all about.
- Producing extraordinary results with ordinary people is really leadership is all about. This needs EQ, RQ, LQ and SQ.
- Watch carefully when an intimidating moment of truth is stunning against you – It is a great opportunity to explore within yourself. If you do, then you emerge as a great leader.